The avian diversity
Among the German cities, Hamburg stands out by the largest bird diversity. There are around 160 avian species registered here. This is an amazing feature for a modern metropolitan city with a population of almost 2 million people and an intensively developing infrastructure. So, let’s explore what helps the birds feel quite comfortable here.
The first and very important factor is the peculiar local landscape. The abundancy of water in Hamburg and its surroundings provides birds with an easy access to this vital resource. It also creates favourable conditions for the development of vegetation and ensures an excellent forage base. And of course it welcomes numerous water birds!
Furthermore, we should praise the smart city planning which creates a mosaic of different habitats. Urban development alternates with various green spaces such as protected areas (German: Naturschutzgebiete; there are more than 30 such areas within the city borders), gardens (German: Schräbergärten), cemeteries (just think of the huge Ohlsdorfer Friedhof…) and numerous parks. The shores of many water bodies and streams in Hamburg remain almost natural as they are not tidied up in granite and concrete. Islands on local lakes are most often inaccessible and are therefore perfectly suitable for nesting. Typical urban landscapes are also very popular with certain species of birds who benefit from living next to the humans.
Birds in Hamburg: 5 typical “feathered neighbours”
The birds of Hamburg are very diverse. There are both small songbirds and large raptors, typical synanthropic (i.e. urban) species and rare species from the “Red List”, species that prefer meadows, marshes and forests, species that are well-known and species that can surely surprise you :). Among the most common bird species in Hamburg are:
- blackbird (German: Amsel / Schwarzdrossel)
- great tits (German: Kohlmeise)
- blue tits (German: Blaumeise)
- sparrows (German: Haussperling)
- common wood pigeon (German: Ringeltaube)